620 Tasting Notes

97

1,25 tsp for 300mL water @90C, steeped 4 minutes 30 seconds, drunk bare.

Dry leaf: tan and bright green. Lost of green. Scent of sunshine, wood, and a faint hint of bitter lemon.

Wet leaf: almost all bright green with some light tan. A few twigs. Scents of agreeable astringency, sunshine, and wood.

Liquor: golden, with some brass. Assertive muscatel in a first flush’s delicacy, if that makes any sense. It probably doesn’t. Strong finish for a first flush: lots of muscatel there, though not enough to pucker. Notes of lemon. if you normally add lemon to your black tea, I’d suggest trying this one without lemon first.

I won;t risk scalding this one at a higher temp. 90C steeps this leaf beautifully.

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96

4.25 tsp for 1L water @90C, steeped 4 minutes 30 seconds with gentle agitation from the rising and falling tea basket in a Breville Tea Maker.

Dry leaf: dark brown with some copper. Very little green leaf. The occasional twig. Muted muscatel scent.

Wet leaf: lighter browns, scent of faint muscatel and just-turned earth.

Liquor: more red than brown. Beautiful. a joy to watch steep as well.

A robust second flush blend, plenty of muscatel, some floral notes, a tiny bit of smoke, stone fruit, pepper, and oak. (I made it strong.) Bright mineral notes. Gorgeous second flush Darjeeling — nothing else like it.

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97

2.25 tsp for 500mL water @90C, steeped four minutes, drunk bare.

Dry leaf: brown, amber, tan, and green, with a few twigs. Some muscatel in the aroma.

Wet leaf: gorgeous big leaf pieces, astringent scent.

Liqour: light copper-amber in colour.

I’ve not had good Darjeeling for a long time. This fblend is robust for a first flush, bright and sparkly, a bit astringent — I expect I used too much leaf — and loaded with muscatel flavour notes. Just gorgeous.

Tea Campaign Canada is part of the German Teekampagne, and this company treats tea growers and harvesters well. Prices are low because this cmpany sells only Darjeeling and only in bulk — smallest packets are 250 grams. Certified as Darjeeling by the Tea Board of India. Certified organic.

Highly recommend.

gmathis

Darjeeling doesn’t get a lot of airplay at my house. Perhaps I should make amends!

Michelle Butler Hallett

Darjeelings make me swoon with joy, and it was my gateway to oolongs, to learning to pick out and start to appreciate all the nuances a tea
can have.

gmathis

Here’s to swoon-worthy teas!

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1.25 tsp (approx, fluffy tea) for 250mL water @95C, steeped 4 minutes 30 seconds.

I just found a packet of this from at least four years ago! It was tucked away in what s now my son’s bedroom. One of myabsolute favourite teas ever. Oh, bliss! All the Golden Fleece loveliness, only deeper. I think I’m tea-drunk.

Kittenna

Nice! Mine’s been gone for a while, now.

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97

1.25 tsp for 250mL water at 100C, steeped four minutes thirty seconds, drunk bare.

A longtime favourite, and every time I make it, I wonder why I don’t drink it more often. A heavier body than many Russian Caravan blends, thanks to the Assam and Ceyon here The Ceylon also adds some brightness. The formosa oolong is hard to pick up when the water is 100C, easier at 95C: faint, very faint peaches and toast. Keemunadds to the toastiness and supports the smoky lapsang souchong.

Nor a tarry or piney blend. Instead it’s got some creamy heft, almost chewy, with notes of leather, toast, and, very faint, peaches and stone fruit. Keemun helps give a winey finish.

Just delicious.

Potent caffeine hit.

gmathis

I need to add “potent” to my tea vocabulary, as it’s precisely what I need most of the time!

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90

As part of a custom blend.

3 parts Murchie’s Russian Caravan, 1 part Murchie’s Himalayan to make up 1.25 tsp. 250mL water at 100C. Steeped 4 minutes 15 seconds, drunk bare.

I really like both of these teas on their own, an the first time I made the RC, I wanted more body. I didn’t quite get that by blending it with Himalayan, but I did get a bright and crisp version of Caravan; I cam imagine staring at stars in the winter sky while drinking this. Many mineral notes at first complement the gentle smoke.

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100

1.25 tsp for 250mL water at 85C, steeped 4 minutes 15 seconds.

Wow. I didn’t expect such a creamy jasmine hit.

Dry leaf: brown and tan leaves. Aroma: faint smoke, faint florals.

Wet leaf: brown and amber, aroma of leather.

Liquor: tranluscent copper. Assertive jasmine aroma and taste, with a creaminess, and a smoky finish that could become bitter. I wonder what hotter water might do. I was torn about which temp to use: anything higher than 85 will likley scald the green, yet 85 is usually not hot enough to bring out everything in a black leaf.

Meantime, I love this at 85. Complex and surprising. Full marks.

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80

1.25 tsp for 250mL water 100C, steeped 4 minutes 15 seconds.

Dry leaf: mostly small brown to black wiry leaves. Aroma: Keemun toastiness.

Wet leaf: dark browns, aroma of tannins and minerals.

Liquor: gorgeous dark red-brown. Keemun gives way to Darjeeling’s bite, which leads into a strong Ceylon finish with mineral and especially copper notes. It feels like the different teas in this blend travel over the tongue, in an orderly queue. Slightly bitter — often a risk with Keemun. Very nice blend, and strong enough to cut through and then complement other strong tastes. I imagine this would go beautifully with smoked salmon, or a sweet cake.

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90

1.25 tsp for 250mL water 100C, steeped 4 minutes 30 seconds, drunk bare.

Dry leaf: lots of long and wiry brown leaves, small dark copper leaves, a few flecks of dull green. Aroma: toast , earth.

Wet leaf: brown, bright copper, dark green. Aroma: Ceylon copper.

Liquor: very dark reddish brown.

A touch bitter, but I did oversteep — I got interrupted in my timing. That said, this is a strong and heavier-bodied tea. The bitterness seems to be from the Keemun, as there’s a touch of smoke to it. The Yunnan is malty and sweet, and the Ceylon gives brightness and heft. Potent and delicious.

gmathis

Love the name; sounds like I could use it while proofreading this weekend!

Michelle Butler Hallett

It was originally blended for an editors’ conference. I imagine it would help. I feel quite awake and focused now; I might make this a regular writing tea.

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Bio

Writer and tea fiend. Author of THIS MARLOWE, DELUDED YOUR SAILORS, SKY WAVES, DOUBLE-BLIND, and THE SHADOW SIDE OF GRACE.

I prefer straight teas but will try almost anything … so long as it’s not tainted with hibiscus. I loathe hibiscus.

Floral oolong and complex black teas are my favourites.

Location

St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada

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